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Some Words Of Advice For The Pirates' Record-Extending Consecutive Losing Season Streak

Congratulations on ensuring your 18th birthday following Friday night's loss, which gave the Pirates their 82nd loss. You're still the oldest consecutive losing season streak in the history of major American professional sports, and while one's 18th birthday is an exciting time, what follows is one of the most important years of your life.

Sit down for a moment. There are some things you should know about being 18.

At school, they're going to make you register a Selective Service form. This is so the military has your information in case there's a draft. I know this is sort of scary, but don't freak out. It's little more than a formality these days.

Gillette is going to send you a razor in the mail. Make no mistake -- they aren't genuinely happy for you, they simply want to coerce you into purchasing their expensive razor blades. Just buy the cheapest razor you can find. It doesn't really matter.

You're old enough to smoke now, but please don't. You're still a kid and... I don't know, you think you're invincible. You think you'll be able to quit whenever you want, but it's easy to under-estimate just how hard it is to quit. If you're not careful, you'll be smoking a pack and a half a day by the time you're forty. You'll save a bunch of money, you won't have to stand outside the bar shivering for the sake of your addiction, and you can walk around without smelling like an ashtray. Keep this in mind.

Excuse me for getting sentimental. I remember when you were born, you know that? The very night you were born. It was Game 7 of the NLCS, and Andy Van Slyke urged Barry Bonds to shift his position in left field. Bonds ignored him. Then Francisco Cabrera managed to make contact and hit the grass, and then Sid scored... it was quite a moment.

During the first few months of your life, we weren't sure if you were going to make it. Boy, were your folks frightened. You had to undergo Barry Bonds removal surgery in order to survive. But look at you now. A .328 winning percentage? That's the envy of losing streaks half your age.

I know you don't want me to get all sappy here, but... I'm proud of you, sport. Make the right choices. Live smart. I know you will.

P.S. The Royals' consecutive losing season streak is turning seven next month. Any ideas for his birthday? Maybe take him to see his first ball game? That'd be a lot of fun.

Read more about the Pirates at Bucs Dugout.